Pearl City’s Shigemasa Talks Story On Volleyball, Ono Rice
By MidWeek Staff
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It may be ironic, but one clue that a prep volleyball program has reached solid ground is the number of players who fail to show up for team workouts in late June.
That usually means they’re honing their skills at a national tournament on the Mainland with their respective volleyball clubs instead. Like other local coaches, longtime Pearl City coach Stephanie Shigemasa has gotten used to as much with an increasing number of her players away during these weeks.
“We have a lot of girls who play Club, which is good,” she said. “I’m excited about the coming season. We’re without a bunch of girls right now who are playing in tournaments on the Mainland, but we’re glad they’re still playing volleyball and we look forward to them all joining us after Fourth of July weekend.”
Expectations are once again high for the Chargers after they went 10-2 in the OIA’s Red West Conference last fall to finish second behind Aiea. When it has its full roster intact again July 5, the Chargers will have about a month to develop their cohesiveness before they’re season opener on Kauai the first week of August. A busy preseason also will include an appearance in the Ann Kang Invitational at Iolani, which begins Aug. 14. Shigemasa recently took time out to answer questions for MidWeek‘s West Oahu Islander.
Who on the Pearl City roster will surprise people in 2010? I’ll go with Keani Passi, who is going to play opposite or outside hitter. This is her first year playing Club volleyball and we’re hoping she can get a lot out of the experience and make a big impact for us. She has a hunger to do well and a good attitude about playing.
How are the youth programs on the Island impacting your own program? I think there’s more talent now, especially for girls. There are so many clubs. It gives our girls an opportunity to play. Unfortunately, there are not that many in Pearl City, but our kids go outside.
When did you know you wanted to be a coach? I guess right when I graduated from college (UH 1993). I loved the game of volleyball, and I knew I wanted to go back to Pearl City and give back to the school.
Who has had the biggest impact on you in your life? I would have to say my parents (Stan and Jan). They’ve always been there for me and my sisters - especially with my volleyball. From the time I was playing to now (as coach), they’ve been at all my games to support me.
When you have time away from the volleyball court, how do you spend it? I spend it with my husband (Reid) and my kids (CaliJo and Camryn). We do all kinds of stuff. We like to go to the beach, to the park, to the driving range - any kind of outdoor activity.
What is your least favorite household chore? Laundry - because I have a lot of it.
You are stuck on the island of Kahoolawe. You have an endless supply of one food. What would it be? Rice. I can eat rice and shoyu.
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